How Digital Scheduling Can Save You Money (And Headaches)

Production scheduling is the central nervous system of every co-pack operation, but many still rely on spreadsheets. Nulogy describes a better alternative.

Patrick Fetterman, CMO, Nulogy
WRITTEN BY Patrick Fetterman

Production scheduling is the central nervous system of every contract manufacturer and co-packer. Every day on the line and in the office, contract packaging providers must juggle a variety of orders, materials, and deadlines. In addition to managing materials consumption, inventory counts, production times and labor requirements, they also have to dynamically manage unexpected timelines or rush orders from consumer brand customers.

For co-pack providers, though, the status quo for production scheduling management has been through Excel spreadsheets built and managed by hand over time. As we all know, the contract manufacturing and co-packing industry is accelerating every day, and spreadsheets are woefully inadequate for keeping up with the speed of today’s market.


Spreadsheets are error prone

Historical studies on corporate spreadsheet usage found the following:

  • Powell, Baker and Lawson estimated that roughly 94% of spreadsheets deployed in the field contain errors.
  • Coopers and Lybrand found 90% of all spreadsheets more than 150 rows contain errors.
  • KPMG found 91% of spreadsheets contain errors. 

Chances are if you are using spreadsheets for production scheduling, those spreadsheets have errors.

Knowledge is difficult to transfer

Knowledge is usually locked in to the individual that has developed and maintained the spreadsheet—a scenario involving business risk. As well, a spreadsheet that resides on a single machine makes it difficult to roll out spreadsheet-based production scheduling to multiple sites.

Files become too bulky

Taking inventory, supplier connected data

Spreadsheets become heavier and bulkier when adding more functions. Production scheduling requires an array of lookups and macros which will grow the file size to hundreds of megabytes or even gigabytes. The file could take a long time to open, or it may become unable to open because of its size.

A spreadsheet that may work for you today may become unusable tomorrow. So, what does a good scheduling solution for a contract supplier operation look like?

How a Software Solution Can Revolutionize Your Production Scheduling

Based on Nulogy’s deep experience in the contract manufacturing and co-packing industry, we’ve highlighted a few key capabilities of a digital solution that can enable a robust and agile production scheduling process:

  • Provides a single source of truth that is easily shared internally and externally
  • Provides the flexibility to evaluate schedule changes through what-if scenarios before committing the schedule for execution
  • Handles conflicts and actively notifies the user of over-scheduled or under-scheduled work orders to allow the user to work by exception and spend more time on value-adding activities.

The Nulogy Production Scheduling software offering is specifically designed to meet the needs of contract manufacturers and co-packers with the following features:

  • Drag-and-drop scheduling to help planners do their jobs more effectively—not to automate their job
  • Enables scheduling adjustments in real-time without needing to wait for an algorithm to respond
  • Assesses key factors (e.g., due dates, labor requirement, line availability, run rates, etc.) and their impacts on the production schedule
  • Seamless connectivity to other modules in the Nulogy Platform and to 3rd party manufacturing operations systems.

With a digital tool that is purpose-built for scheduling contract packaging and manufacturing operations, free your business to move at the speed and flexibility needed to stay competitive in today’s market. Not only will you make planning and scheduling more efficient, but you will also be able to respond faster and more accurately to customer demands, and prime your operations for future growth and success.

Contact us to learn more about how Nulogy’s Production Scheduling software can drive value for your contract manufacturing or co-packing business.

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